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Charge Process

Legal Review

Findings & Results: After the investigation, a written report is prepared recommending whether or not there is "substantial evidence" of a violation of the Act. A finding of "substantial evidence" means that there is enough evidence for the Complainant to take the case either before an administrative law judge at the Illinois Human Rights Commission ("HRC") (an agency that conducts hearings on complaints filed by IDHR on behalf of Complainant or by Complainant) or an appropriate state circuit court. That forum (either the HRC or the circuit court) will hear testimony, receive evidence & determine whether unlawful discrimination occurred.

Request for Review Rights: For charges that are dismissed, Complainants have the right to file a request for review within 90 days of service of the dismissal with the HRC. The Respondent may file a request for review with the HRC within 30 days of service of a notice of default recommendation.

Public Hearing: If substantial evidence is found, Complainants have the option of requesting that IDHR file a complaint, on Complainant's behalf, with the HRC within 90 days of service of IDHR's substantial evidence finding. IDHR files a complaint only if within 30 days of service of IDHR's finding of substantial evidence, the Complainant requests in writing, that IDHR file a complaint with the HRC. Complainants bear the burden of proving their case before the HRC. Complainants also have the option of filing a complaint in a state circuit court of appropriate venue or with HRC within 90 days of service of Department's substantial evidence finding.

If Complainant requests IDHR to file a complaint with the HRC, IDHR provides the parties the opportunity to reach a settlement through conciliation with a staff attorney or mediator (non-housing cases). If settlement agreement is not reached, IDHR will file a Complaint of Civil Rights Violation with the HRC on behalf of Complainant.

If the administrative law judge recommends a finding that the Respondent has discriminated against Complainant, the administrative law judge can recommend remedies deemed necessary to make Complainant "whole", i.e., place Complainant in a position, as if the discrimination had not occurred. A three-member panel of the HRC can review the recommendation of the administrative law judge. If the case goes to public hearing, the entire process could take several years.

Case Status and File Review

For information about the status of a pending charge or to review a case file*, complete the online 'Contact IDHR' form and select EXISTING CHARGE/CASE, or call (312) 814-4320.

* Note: file review is only available if the investigation is not pending or active.